Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
1 rating

Wednesday - May 19, 2010

From: The Colony, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Water Gardens
Title: Plants for area around a fountain in full sun near Dallas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I'm seeking advice on what I can plant around the base of a fountain, in full sun, that can tolerate the fountain water splash/spray. I'm seeking something that can be maintained to a maximum height of 24-30 inches or so. My preference is a blooming or tropical type of plant, but realizing the unusual setting, will consider anything. Another consideration is that it does not attract bees, as this garden is near an entry door. Thank you in advance for your consideration. I live north of Dallas in Denton County.

ANSWER:

If the soil around the fountain is damp, or even better, really wet, you could use a fern such as Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern).  I could guarantee you that no bees would be attracted to it since it isn't a flowering plant.  Another plant for very moist soil that would not attract bees is Equisetum hyemale (scouringrush horsetail).

Here are several plants that tolerate moist soil, are within your preferred size range, and grow in full sun.  They will attract butterflies and perhaps an occasional bee, but they wouldn't be especially attractive to the bees.

Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed)

Calylophus berlandieri ssp. pinifolius (Berlandier's sundrops)

Lobelia cardinalis (cardinalflower)

Oenothera speciosa (pinkladies)

Salvia lyrata (lyreleaf sage)

You can look for more possibilities on our Texas-North Central Recommended page.  You can use the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option to limit the search to fit your criteria (e.g.,select 'Sun..' from LIGHT REQUIREMENT and 'Moist' from SOIL MOISTURE).

Here are photos of the plants above from our Image Gallery:


Osmunda cinnamomea

Dodecatheon pulchellum

Asclepias tuberosa

Calylophus berlandieri ssp. pinifolius

Lobelia cardinalis

Oenothera speciosa

Salvia lyrata

 

 

 

 

More Water Gardens Questions

Tree with stilt roots for Louisiana bog garden
February 07, 2013 - Does Louisiana have any native trees with stilt roots? I would like one to go with my cypress and tupelo bog garden. I have several native plants such as spider lilies and blue flag irises, but I'm...
view the full question and answer

Erosion control for edge of artificial lake in California
August 14, 2013 - How about erosion control at the edge of an artificial lake in Southern California? Juncus and ..?
view the full question and answer

Specifying sizes of plants for pond edge plantings in Austin area
December 19, 2014 - I am working on a list of pond edge plantings for the Austin area that will be in the fluctuation zone and I have my list of my plants but I need to know how to spec the sizes and to make sure my list...
view the full question and answer

Tropical Texas landscape from Houston
March 04, 2013 - Do you know of any public (or at least photographed) place in Texas that has been landscaped entirely with native "tropical-looking" (i.e. evergreen but NOT conifer and NOT succulent/arid) species? ...
view the full question and answer

Native water plants for bio-retention pond in North Carolina
July 22, 2009 - I am looking for North Carolina native plants that can take part shade and very wet conditions (bioretention pond environment). Any suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.